Happy memories can be dreamlike, hazy, or wildly visceral. I still remember moments in my life as if I just lived them, like I somehow stepped through a time warp to the future. And there are certainly ones that feel further away—almost like I can't believe I was the person living them. Still, nostalgic things including scents, possessions, and even makeup can take you right back.
Just in case you're worried about living in the past, don't fret. A study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found "nostalgia raises self-esteem, which in turn heightens optimism," notes the study's co-author Tim Wildschut, PhD, adding that "memories of the past can help to maintain current feelings of self-worth and can contribute to a brighter outlook on the future."
So in the name of nostalgia (and makeup tips), we're taking a look back at our past experiences through rose-colored glasses. Below, we detail the makeup we were wearing during some of the best, happiest memories we have. Keep reading for your midweek pick-me-up.
"To write this, I scanned my brain for some of my happiest memories: the times when I sat outside on New York City sidewalks, drinking a tropical cocktail, the sun warming my smile—moments when I laughed so hard my sides hurt. They're almost always during summer, a season which brings about a lightness that's difficult to describe. We all still have jobs to go to each morning, and the subway creates a heat so intense it's almost easier to let drops of sweat hit the floor than engage in rubbing them away, yet the beginning of summer still feels like school just let out and freedom is the only thing left on the agenda.
"I could go into the times a boy told me he liked my lipstick (Nars Lipstick in Heat Wave, $28) or the compliments I got on my hair (they were extensions). Though, the fact of the matter is, I think I'm happier now that I don't constantly wear all those things. So for this year's beginning-of-summer bliss, I stick to three glowy, natural-looking must-haves: RMS Beauty's Living Luminizer ($38), Mary Kay Brow Gel ($10), and Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm in Pink ($33). That's not to say I don't wistfully apply Heat Wave when the mood strikes. (I wore it during the interview that got me my dream job—this one.) I just no longer feel like I have to, and that makes me happy."
Shop Hallie's Go-Tos
"Having lived in L.A. for the past eight years where the weather stays perpetually sunny all year round, I realized I had to come up with a nonseasonal way to keep track of life events: Lipstick seemed like a logical answer. For example, summer 2014 was the season of Nyx Matte Lipstick in Indie Red ($6), while spring 2015 was when I fell in love with Lipstick Queen's Silver Screen Lipstick in See Me ($50). I think back on the happiest times of my life, and a two-week-long trip to Paris, Venice, Lake Como, and Milan in September 2015 comes to mind. I had just discovered Rituel de Fille's Enchanted Lip Sheers ($39) and remember constantly applying the shade Datura. I also stumbled upon Kiko Milano while I was in Venice and stocked up on its matte lipsticks. I look back on photos from that time and smile at 1) the memories and 2) the fact my lips were always the perfect shade of pinky-nude."
Shop Faith's Go-Tos
"Year after year, I go back to the same summer #facebeat—it actually gives me happy butterflies because I really do associate those products with my favorite sunny memories. It started with my discovery of Ilia's Illuminator in Polka Dots & Moonbeams ($34) as well as the brand's Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Knights ($26). The year was 2014, and it was an amazing summer spent going to shows, drinking homemade margaritas on the roof of my Brooklyn apartment, and wandering around my neighborhood on weekend afternoons. Those two products were the backbone of my look—when NYC hits peak sauna in the dead of summer, spackling on a ton of makeup is a lost cause (and highly unappealing). I just added some SPF (Sunday Riley's since-discontinued Cashmere SPF, sob), a couple swipes of waterproof mascara, and misted my face and hair with Herbivore Botanicals' Coconut + Sea Salt Beave Wave Hair Mist ($20) before heading out.
"I've lived in that look every summer since, though I now include RMS "Un" Cover-Up Concealer ($36) and Tatcha's Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen ($65). These days, I'm also loving Glossier's Generation G Lipstick in Leo ($18)—it's the perfect nude-brown that I swipe on my eyelids as well. But the point is keeping it fresh and pared-down. The summers have officially hit me this week, so I've already pulled out my essentials from the bottom of my makeup drawer!"
Shop Victoria's Go-Tos
"Deciding to change career paths midway through grad school was terrifying to say the least. I'd planned to be a therapist for the greater portion of my life, so when I reached the realization that it wasn't for me, I panicked. Thankfully, in a moment of serendipity, I met a girl who was writing for a women's website, and it clicked: That sounds amazing—I can do that, I thought. So I started freelancing and fell in love. I picked up another internship to bolster my résumé but mistakenly thought having just a few experiences under my belt would earn me a full-time job come graduation. I was so, so very wrong and spent the next year applying and getting denied to the point where I almost threw in the towel several times over. Finally, things started falling into place—I picked up some awesome gigs and met some pivotal contacts who led me to a job posting for Byrdie.
"After a few interviews, Beauty Director Deven emailed me saying that she wanted to chat that evening, a message that sent my heart into a frenzy and my mind into a 5K race of running thoughts. Did I get it? Is she calling to tell me, "Thanks, but no thanks"? I remember the moment clear as day: I was home that evening, made up in MAC products (like my faves, MAC Studio Sculpt Superblack Mascara, $18, and Extra Dimension Powder Blush, $28) and took the call. When I found out I'd gotten the offer, I quite literally fell to my knees. I still have the same blush compact I'd used during that period and can't bring myself to toss it. Maybe it'll bring someone else good luck in the future."
Also, this happened: The guy I was sort of seeing told me I wear too much makeup.